It’s 8 o’clock. You and your family just finished a sunset kayak tour on Daufuskie Island, and you’ve just heard the youngest whimper, “I’m hungry.”
Now you think this would be the time to panic but you thought ahead and got reservations, knowing that this secluded, 2.5-by-5-mile island only has four restaurants. Before you got to this point, the real panic was not, “Are we going to eat?”, but instead, “What should we eat?”
Your family, friends, and TripAdvisor, probably had rave reviews about each place separately, so you went ahead and researched them all, starting with Marshside Mama’s at the county dock. Voted one of Travel and Leisure’s top beach bars, this so-called “dive” is quintessential Daufuskie island. Boaters can pull up directly to the dock for the famously fresh menu, or to see live music on weekends. The menu, created by owner Beth Shipman, is written daily on a whiteboard– a sign of how truly fresh each dish is. There are a few favorites which can always be found on the menu, such as gumbo or voodoo pasta. The fresh catch is brought to the dock daily directly from the fishermen who caught it. Reservations are mandatory, and always remember: No whining, just dance!
The next place you thought to look up was the Old Daufuskie Crab Company at Freeport Marina. This restaurant, right on the water just like Marshside Mama’s, has one of the best sunset views around. This restaurant has everything from shrimp to steak to an extensive kids’ menu, and is described as “down home good eatin'”…with an island twist that only Daufuskie can offer.
Next is the Eagle’s Nest restaurant at Bloody Point, which serves lunch and dinner every day from 11am to 8 pm, with happy hour fro 4-6 pm. The Eagle’s Nest brings a self described “flip-flop luxury” to Daufuskie Island. The menu ranges from simple sandwiches to gourmet entrees, all served in a member-guest clubhouse atmosphere. Everyone is welcome at this family owned and operated restaurant; however, reservations are encouraged. And don’t forget to visit them for their weekly Sunday brunch menu– the Fuskie French Toast is to die for!
The fourth and final restaurant you found during your research is the newly renovated Melrose on the Beach restaurant. Open 11am to 9 pm daily, this is the perfect place to dine “post-paddle”. From all-you-can-eat specials every Wednesday to weekly oyster roasts and lowcountry boil on Fridays, the Beach Club at Melrose has events every week that the whole family can enjoy. The gourmet entrees offered after 5pm daily are some of the best in the lowcountry, and even items on the kids’ menu are incredible. While you’re there, of course, you can pick up Tour Daufuskie shirts for the whole family at Tour Daufuskie’s “kayak shack” located between the pool and the ocean…naturally.
With no grocery store, one would think Daufuskie Island’s four restaurants might have a big problem coming up with a menu. However, that’s not the case in the slightest, and the fact that there is not a grocery store leaves no questions about one thing: everything here is fresh. So there’s no doubt that the perfect way to follow an evening paddle trip is by filling up with some delicious lowcountry cuisine found right here on Daufuskie!